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Feast & Imrie Lead De Jongh's Plague at Duchess

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Casting has been announced for the forthcoming West End transfer of Nicholas de Jongh's Plague Over England, which opens at the Duchess Theatre on 23 February 2009 (previews from 11 February). Michael Feast heads the cast as John Gielgud, with Celia Imrie as Sybil Thorndike and Simon Dutton as Binkie Beaumont.

Plague Over England is based around the controversial 1953 conviction of Sir John Gielgud, for persistently importuning men for immoral purposes. It premiered at the Finborough Theatre in March last year with a cast headed by Jasper Britton.

Michael Feast acted with Gielgud in the 1970s, when he played Foster opposite Gielgud's Spooner in the original production of No Man's Land at the Old Vic. His recent theatre credits include playing Macduff in Rupert Goold's acclaimed production of Macbeth, starring Patrick Stewart, which ran in the West End and on Broadway.

Celia Imrie was last seen in the West End in Victoria Wood's Acorn Antiques – The Musical in 2005, for which she won an Olivier Award. Her myriad screen credits include Bridget Jones's Diary, Calendar Girls and Wimbledon.

The cast is completed by Simon Dutton (TV's The Saint, Not Going Out), David Burt, Hugh Ross, John Warnaby, Michael Brown, Steven Hansell, Sam Heughan and Leon Ockenden. It's directed by Tamara Harvey, with design by Alex Marker and lighting by James Farncombe.

Plague Over England is written by Evening Standard theatre critic Nicholas de Jongh, who enjoyed the praise of his critical colleagues when the play premiered last year. It was recently nominated for a 2009 Whatsonstage.com Theatregoers' Choice Award in the Best Off-West End Production category (click here to visit the awards site).

Plague Over England is presented in the West End by Bill Kenwright and Ambassador Theatre Group.

- by Theo Bosanquet


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